Aroon Rai, Cheap and Good Thai (Chiang Mai)

aaron raiAnother weekend. Feels good doesn’t it? Teaching makes me tired and it’s the last week of school and I’m busy helping my students fail their final exams. Did I say fail? I mean, pass of course no one fails in Thailand.

At least the food doesn’t. The students may be mediocre game playing uninspiring dolts (for the most part) but the food is certainly spot on.  It passes about 98 percent of the time without even trying, and gets an A at least 30 percent of the time with about the same amount of effort.

What do I mean? Well, Aroon Rai is not much to look at. It’s an open air place near the Tha Pae Gate that serves tasty and very cheap Thai food. It’s a bit of an institution in my book. When I first traveled to Chiang Mai in 2002 it was there, and twelve years later it’s still there, looks the same, so if I were for example transported from 2002 to say 2014 I would think it was the next day. So the place hasn’t changed, though Chiang Mai is a very different place then I remember in 2002. Oh, I’m getting nostalgic, which I hate to do…

At Aroon Rai the curry is what you come for, though the menu is packed with food–three pages worth, the place makes a good curry at a very good price. No frill, that’s what you get, plain tables, dishware that looks like it fell off the back of a truck crossing the border from Laos (plastic junk),  and concrete floor and walls. Obviously the owner didn’t or doesn’t spend a lot to make you feel comfy, but who really cares if the food is good.IMG_1696

Give it a try, and you probably will if you’re in CM for a few days. It’s in the Lonely Planet, which I still think is worth it, and I’m pretty sure it has the same review it did in 2002, which is OK since I mentioned that whole time transporting thing, so I would think the writer at LP had the same kind of feeling as I did,

Total bill, about 10 USD (320 Baht), Curry, Omelette Shrimp, Tom Yum, and Cashew Chicken, and drinks: Sugar Cane juice and a Chang beer–


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